Crime

Lynden man stalked girls online, sent unwanted sex videos, charges say

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A Lynden man cyber-stalked four females and sent dozens of sexual images to them over the app Snapchat, according to charges filed Tuesday.

A girl, 16, and a 20-year-old woman, reported in October that Marcos Penaloza, 19, sent both of them dozens of pictures and videos of himself “naked in lewd sex acts,” according to charging papers. At first he sent the pictures anonymously over Snapchat, and when they asked him to stop, he kept sending images, the charges say.

A Lynden police detective found a series of blog accounts where someone publicly posted thousands of pictures of naked pornographic actresses, mixed with photos of clothed local girls.

The girls’ photos had been copied and pasted from their social media pages. One local girl, who dated Penaloza in middle school, was nude in some pictures. Those photos were taken when she was about 14, according to the charges.

A fourth girl, 13, reported a man sent her nude photos and overt sexual messages over Snapchat. She told him her age, and he replied he didn’t care. He continued sending sexual videos of himself, the charges say.

Police confronted Penaloza in late December and he admitted that he sent images to all of the girls, according to the charges. He found the 13-year-old at random on Snapchat, he told officers. He thought it would be OK to post photos of his ex, he added, since she was an adult now. He said he made sexual posts on the Internet “to get those thoughts out of his head,” the charges say.

Prosecutors charged Penaloza with a dozen felony sex crimes: two counts of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes; four counts of cyberstalking; and six counts of dealing in child pornography.

Back in October, around the time of the first report, Penaloza was charged with possessing methamphetamine in Hovander Homestead Park. He posted $2,500 bond in that case. A risk report in that case lists past juvenile charges of felony assault and arson.

As of Tuesday he was still in jail on the new charges, with bail set at $25,000.

Caleb Hutton: 360-715-2276, @bhamcaleb

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